NFL Super Bowl 51 Preview

Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots

With the Falcons’ 44–21 beating of the Packers, and the Patriots’ 36–17 destruction of the Steelers in Sunday’s conference championship games, the country has seen just two competitive playoff games out of the 10 played to this point. Will the Houston Super Bowl on February 5th be any different? For that answer, let’s get an early look at the factors that will determine the winner of Super Bowl 51 (Play at FanPicks).

It’s all about the quarterbacks

Just about any way you slice it, this is a matchup between the top two passers in the league. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and New England’s Tom Brady ended up No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in pretty much every efficient stats rankings. They are masters of their craft, have plenty of weapons around them, and have two of the best playcallers (Kyle Shanahan and Josh McDaniels) at their disposal. To beat Brady, you have to disguise and change up both the pressure and coverage looks on just about every snap. The Falcons, to this point, have not shown the ability to do that. That will be an important factor in the game. Ryan has trouble with tight, disciplined coverage. With Malcolm Butler locking up either Julio Jones or Mohamed Sanu, and Logan Ryan on the other with safety help, Ryan may have to make a living throwing to the running backs and tight end’s Levine Toilolo and Austin Hooper. The Patriots have had more issues with supporting actors than those in starring roles. The Falcons have the ability to exploit that.

Running backs will be a huge factor

Sure, the quarterbacks may get all the attention, but the running backs from each team are used to taking advantage of the shortcomings on opposing defenses. The Falcons have one of the most talented duos in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman is the better runner, but Shanahan loves to use both to exploit mismatches in the pass game. McDaniels likes to use Dion Lewis and James White in a similar fashion via the pass, and Lewis has taken over as the every-down running back. LeGarrette Blount is the short yardage and finish-the-game bruiser.

What’s in common?

The Falcons and Patriots each had five common opponents (Denver, Seattle, Arizona, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and went 4–1 (each team lost to the Seahawks, with Atlanta losing on the road and the Patriots at home). The cumulative scores were 168–88 for Atlanta; 119–82 for New England. The Falcons had an average margin of victory of 20.5 points, and the Patriots were at 11.0. The Patriots didn’t have Tom Brady in their two-point victory over the Cardinals, a team the Falcons beat by 19.

Atlanta’s offense is exceptional

Under the spotlight of the Super Bowl, this Falcons offense may finally get its due. We’re talking about a unit that can rival the Greatest Show on Turf Rams for explosiveness. They scored 540 points this season, which is tied for eighth all time with those 2000 Rams. Sure, the team is uber-talented with wideout’s Jones, Sanu and Taylor Gabriel, and running backs’s Freeman and Coleman, but don’t underestimate the job coordinator Shanahan has done. At this point, everyone thinks it’s all about the talent. But remember, Sanu was an underachieving No. 2 with the Bengals and Gabriel was a Browns castoff before this season. Freeman and Coleman were thought to be nice players, but not game changers. That all changed this season because of the way Shanahan designs plays and attacks defenses. There are few better at taking an opponent’s tendencies and using them against them.

The Patriots defense will have a say

New England’s defense certainly proved its “best scoring defense” was no fluke in the win over the Steelers. And remember who put an end to those 2000s Rams teams (Spoiler Alert: It was the 2001 Patriots). New England may not have many big names on defense (Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty and Malcolm Butler are about it), but the sum is better than the parts. Certainly the Falcons will be a huge challenge, but everyone knows Bill Belichick and his staff can defend anything with two weeks to prepare.

The Patriots’ offensive line should have an advantage

After a shaky outing against the Texans, the Patriots’ offensive line completely dominated the Steelers. The Falcons’ unit is certainly solid but it’s not quite as good as the Patriots. The Patriots have the edge at left tackle (Nate Solder), right guard (Shaq Mason) and right tackle (Marcus Cannon), while the Falcons have an advantage at center (Alex Mack) and left guard (Andy Levitre).

Experience doesn’t matter

Expect a lot to be made this week about how this is Matt Ryan’s first Super Bowl appearance versus Tom Brady’s seventh (with four victories). Certainly the disparity is notable, but it ignores the fact that several passers have beaten those with more experience in recent years. Some of those on the list: Russell Wilson over Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers over Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning over Brady and Brady over Kurt Warner.

You have to stop more than one guy

Each quarterback has a security blanket. For the Patriots, it’s Julian Edelman (158 targets in the regular season). Atlanta has Jones (129). Certainly a lot of attention needs to paid to each of those players, but both quarterbacks are deft at distributing the ball. The Patriots had seven players catch at least three touchdowns (tight end Martellus Bennett led with seven), and so did the Falcons (Jones and Gabriel tied with six). In the postseason, both Sanu (Falcons) and Chris Hogan (Patriots) had two touchdowns receiving.

Where’s the pressure?

It looks like the opening over/under line for the Super Bowl is an astounding 59 points. No shock there, considering these two offenses. But it also says something about the defenses, which were both great on Sunday but don’t exactly get a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks. The Patriots didn’t affect Roethlisberger that much and don’t have a dominating rusher, although Trey Flowers is solid. And the Falcons’ only true pass rushing threat is Vic Beasley. The game may very well be determined by which team is able to dial up the most pressure and make that top quarterback move off his spot in the pocket.

Posted in NFL

New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos 1/24/16 Preview & Picks

  • At 3:05 pm, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots will face-off with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. 

Tom Brady is one of the greatest, if not the greatest quarterback of all-time. Peyton Manning is one of the greatest, if not the greatest quarterback of all-time. Tom Brady is in the running for 2015 league MVP. Peyton Manning is starting for the second consecutive week after taking the job back from Brock Osweiler. My Point? The Patriots will go as far as Brady takes them. The Broncos will go as far as their defense takes them.

While I don’t expect Julian Edelman or Brandon LaFell to beat those long, rangy Denver CBs over the top, Edelman has the potential to catch a ton of short, underneath passes. He’s definitely a WR1,  as Brady could easily target him 12+ times in such an important game. Something along the lines of 10 catches for 110 yards and a TD could be what you’re looking at in return of the high price tag. It would be a surprise to me if LaFell can muster up anything DFS relevant in his matchup against Harris Jr. (though battling an injury) and Talib.

Danny Amendola working the slot has a much better shot at putting up a big game than the Patriots official #2 wideout. Though he only caught two balls on three targets last week and has been limited in practice due to a knee injury all week, he provides the same kind of quick twitch inside ability as Edelman does, which is how you want to attack this stout defense.

Finally, the man you all want to hear about: Rob Grrrrronkowski. Gronk could have a MONSTER game here. With the ferocious pass-rushing ability that the Broncos possess, Bill Belichick will want to feature his star TE up the seam to take the pressure off Tom Brady. There is no better way to keep the linebackers at home than to force them to drop into coverage because the Gronk is just destroying you. Maybe he won’t have monster yardage, but I’m banking on two TDs on Sunday.

Steven Jackson definitely won’t be a DFS factor, so James White is the Pats back to own. His pass-caching ability on swings, screens and checkdowns will also be instrumental in slowing down Demarcus Ware, Von Miller and co. He should have his fair share of chances to make plays.


On the home team’s side, the Sheriff Peyton Manning will need to execute flawlessly to lead his Broncos to the Super Bowl contest. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will need to bust out some major YAC’s to spearhead this attack, while CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman churn out chunks on the ground.

Demaryius Thomas will face a big matchup with Patriots CB Logan Ryan. Ryan shut him down in Week 12, with three pass breakups and as Brock Osweiler went 1-of-8 for 36 yards when targeting Thomas. He is a big target and constant red-zone threat, but isn’t always the dominant factor you’re looking for.

Sanders most likely will be face-to-face with Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler on Sunday. The very same Butler that he beat deep in November when he piled up 113 yards. His work in tight and quickness allow him to get separation against a tight Patriots D, and he works hard to run after the catch and eat up yardage.

CJ Anderson and Hillman are always a toss up, but Anderson had his best game of the year against New England with 113 yards of his own and two TDs. The run game can be inconsistent, but the Broncos need it to be on point on Sunday.

Advice: Brady, Gronkowski, Sanders, Edelman, and Anderson should be the top performers. Of course that comes with a hefty price tag, so discounts like James White could be the key to your DFS victory.

Posted in NFL

NFL Conference Championships Stacks


With only a two game slate, it is key to identify and pick the best stack of the weekend to have any chance of placing in a NFL Daily Fantasy Tournament. Its down to the favorites and when everyone has strong defenses, every stack has the potential for boom or bust. For that reason you need to pick based on ownership rather than projection.


Lets look at the stacks:


Palmer and Fitz:


Coming off a hot performance last week, I think this will be one of the highest owned stacks of the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most clutch playoff performers, however and he has great synergy with Palmer right now. But he performed too well last week and I don’t think he will do that again. If he does then the Cardinals will move on to the Super Bowl but the Panthers are just too strong. However, many others people may agree that it is not a great matchup, which can bring the ownership down. My verdict: FADE.


Newton and Olsen:


The biggest indicator of a players ownership is their performance the previous week. People just love to make their picks on what is the most fresh in their mind, and whats fresh in their mind here is Newton’s disappointment last week— of course I mean fantasy wise… the Panthers had a great game against the Seahawks last week. While the potential MVP will never be lowly owned, I do think he will be lower than normal and the Newton Olsen connection has great upside potential. My verdict: PICK.


Brady and Gronk/Edelman:


You can go either way with this stack. Edelman will rack up the targets, receptions, and yardage a bit faster but Gronk is the superior red zone threat. They as well as Brady had a great game last weekend. However, they are facing a much stronger defense here. In terms of ownership, I expect them to be highly owned, and rightfully so with more playoff experience than any other team. I’m avoiding it however for a lower owned stack with a higher upside. My verdict: FADE.


Manning and Thomas/Sanders:


We have seen very little out of Peyton Manning this year. He has had good and bad game play performances but he has had all bad fantasy performances. Their team has adopted a different style of offense which has destroyed his ability to put up big numbers. Thomas and Sanders have had their moments with Oswieller running the offense, but not Manning. I think this will be the lowest owned stack of the week— which makes it the stack with the most potential profit. Usually you only want to stack with one receiver but in a week with such few options, I don’t mind tossing both of them in there to hedge you’re bets a little bit. You shouldn’t expect these players to put up big numbers but when you are picking based on ownership— in the slight chance they do, you may win big. My verdict: PICK.

Posted in NFL

Miami Dolphins versus New England Patriots Thursday Night Football Fantasy League Picks 10-29-2015

It will be action from the AFC East division on Thursday Night Football as the New England Patriots will be home to meet the Miami Dolphins. Fantasy football draft GM’s can tune to CBS TV at 8:30PM Eastern Time on October 29th to follow the results of their roster picks.


The Miami Dolphins are a hot football team since the coaching change. Under Dan Campbell they have posted back to back victories by margin. Two weeks ago it was a 38-10 road win at Tennessee. Last week the Dolphins took a 41-0 halftime lead on the Houston Texans in their 44-28 victory to move to 3-3. Miami got back to emphasizing their run game and it has worked with two straight wins. Last week in their blowout win against the Texans the team ran for 248 yards. In their win against Tennessee the Dolphins were able to gain 180 rushing yards. During the 1-3 start Miami did a poor job running the football. The run game has aided Ryan Tannehill and made him a better quarterback. Their defense has looked much improved as the club is more aggressive and taking better angles at defenders as they make tackles. The Dolphins have moved to ninth best in the NFL in scoring offense as they average 24.5 points per game.


The New England Patriots are now a 6-0 after 30-23 victory at home to a good New York Jets team. The Patriots offense has been outstanding this year. They have scored 30 or greater points in five straight games. The Patriots are the top scoring offense in the NFL as they average 35.5 points per game. In their win against the Jets, New England simply abandoned the run as they did not want to waste downs against a very good defense that can defend it. So the game plan was for Tom Brady to throw and he had 54 passing attempts in the victory. The Dolphins had problems stopping the run so don’t be surprised if the Patriots change gears and run more. With a short week it made sense to not pile up carries for their running backs because it’s a position where the players get beat up.


Miami Dolphins QB:


Ryan Tannehill


The Dolphins veteran quarterback got a big contract in the offseason. He is hitting on 62.6% of his passes for 1628 yards with 13 touchdowns and 7 picks. Tannehill completed 18 of 19 throws for 282 yards with four touchdowns and no picks. In the win at Tennessee, Tannehill had two touchdowns and two picks.


Miami Dolphins RB:


Lamar Miller


Miller has run for 419 yards on 70 carries with two touchdowns. He is averaging 6.0 yards a carry on the year. Campbell is running twice as much as head coach of the Dolphins. Miller had 175 rushing yards in the win against Houston with a touchdown on his 14 carries. In the last two games Miller has 288 rushing yards on 33 carries.


Miami Dolphins WR:


Rishard Matthews


The fourth year wide out leads the Dolphins with 26 catches for 438 yards with four touchdowns. Last week in the victory against the Texans Matthews caught three balls for 75 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 16.8 yards per catch on the year.


New England Patriots QB:


Tom Brady


Brady is completing 69% of his throws this year for 2054 yards with 16 touchdowns and one pick. His completion percentage ties a career high. In the win against the Jets it was the Tom Brady show as he hit on 63% of his throws for 355 yards with two touchdowns and no picks.


New England Patriots RB:


LeGarrette Blount


The Patriots featured running back has 52 carries for 246 yards on the year with four touchdowns. He is running for 4.7 yards a carry on the campaign. Blount had just three carries last week as the team abandoned the run against the Jets.


New England Patriots WR:


Julian Edelman


Edelman has 45 catches for 503 yards with four touchdowns. He caught five balls for 54 yards last week in the win against the Jets.


NFL Thursday Night Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks

QB: Tom Brady (Patriots)

RB: Lamar Miller (Dolphins)

WR: Julian Edelman (Patriots), Rishard Matthews (Dolphins)

TE: Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Football Draft News 10-20-2015

New York Jets versus New England Patriots NFL Fantasy Preview 10-25-2015

Two bitter AFC East rivals square off as the New England Patriots will host the New York Jets. NFL fantasy football draft GM’s can check this game out on Sunday October 25th at 1PM Eastern Time over on CBS to follow the results of their roster picks.

The Jets have been a surprise this year as they enter play with a mark of 4-1. They had a nice second half rally last week as they defeated the Washington Redskins on Sunday 34-20. New York made very good second half adjustments as they turned a 13-10 deficit at the half to a 27-13 lead after three quarters. New York showcased their run game and it delivered 221 yards on the ground in the win. The Jets did a good job of stopping the Redskins run game by limiting Washington to just 34 yards on their 17 carries. They were efficient last week in the red zone converting on 3 of 4 times. New York not only sports the top run game in the league but they are tops in the league in total defense and in scoring defense. On the year the Jets give up just 15 points along with 269 yards per game. They stop the run and pass this year ranking second in pass and third in rush defense.

The New England Patriots have a 5-0 record on the year. They faced the Indianapolis Colts in a high profile Sunday night football game last week and defeated Indianapolis 34-27. The team was on back to back road games and built a two score lead in the second half until the Colts got within seven points with 1:19 left in the game. New England had built a good enough lead where they could absorb 409 yards of offense and 3 of 3 inside the red zone execution by Indianapolis. New England is the number two passing offense in the NFL and leads the league in scoring. The Patriots average 325 yards passing and 36.6 points per game.

New York Jets QB:

Ryan Fitzpatrick

The 11th year journeyman is completing 62% of his throws for 1177 yards with nine touchdowns and seven picks. In the win against the Redskins Fitzpatrick threw for 253 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. He has thrown a pick in all five of his games this year.

New York Jets RB:

Chris Ivory

Ivory was a good acquisition from the Saints and leads New York with 83 carries for 460 yards and four touchdowns. He is just 27 yards old and has handled the workload very well. He received 20 carries on Sunday and ran for 146 yards and a touchdown.

New York Jets WR:

Brandon Marshall

Marshall leads the Jets by far in the passing game being targeted 54 times and caught 37 balls for 511 yards and four touchdowns. He caught seven balls for 111 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Marshall has 100 yards receiving or greater in four straight games.

New England Patriots QB:

Tom Brady

It’s another start for a great season for the 38 year old quarterback. On the year Brady is completing 70% of his throws for 1699 yards with 14 touchdowns and one pick. Brady is productive in his late 30’s which says something about his legacy in the NFL. He threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns in the win against the Colts.

New England Patriots RB:

LeGarrette Blount

The 28 year old running back has 49 carries for 249 yards and four touchdowns. He had a season high 93 yards rushing last week with a touchdown.

New England Patriots WR:

Julian Edelman

Edelman leads New England with 40 catches for 440 yards and four touchdowns. He was held to 50 receiving yards last week on six catches but did have a receiving touchdown.

Posted in NFL

New England Patriots versus Indianapolis Colts

Sunday Night Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks 10-18-2015

Sunday Night Football is a rematch of the AFC Championship from last season as the Indianapolis Colts will welcome into town the New England Patriots. NFL fantasy draft GMs can tune to NBC TV at 8:30PM Eastern Time to follow the scoring results of their roster league picks.

The New England Patriots are undefeated and an offensive machine this year. They are 4-0 on the young season and sport the number one total offense in the NFL by averaging 423 yards per game. They are also the number one passing team in the league and rank second best in scoring as they push across 37.2 points per game. The Patriots have scored no fewer than 28 points a game. It was a 30-6 victory on the road for New England against the Dallas Cowboys last week. It was a good defensive performance by the Patriots as they held the Cowboys to 264 yards of offense and had a +2 turnover margin in the game.

The Indianapolis Colts are a 3-2 football team and reside in first place in a weak AFC South division. They are on a three game win streak after beginning the year at 0-2. Their wins have come against Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston who combine for a 3-11 record. On a Thursday night the Colts went into a desperate Houston Texans team and came away with the 27-20 road victory. Indy was able to shut down the Texans run game and held Houston to 1 of 3 inside the red zone. The Colts were efficient in the red zone coming away with a touchdown three of four times and won the turnover battle by a +2 margin. Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has started the past two games for the Colts are resulting in victories. Andrew Luck was sidelined with a partially separated shoulder but is expected to play on Sunday night. Pass protection has been a major issue for years with the Colts. It is something that has been neglected in the draft by the organization. They have had success competing in a very weak division. On the year the Colts sit in the lower third of the league in several key offensive categories. They sit 23rd in total offense gaining 334 yards per game and are 24th in scoring by averaging 19.8 points per game.

New England Patriots QB:

Tom Brady

The Patriots signal caller has completed 72% of his throws for 1387 yards with 11 touchdowns and no picks. In the win against Dallas Brady hit on 74% of his throws for 275 yards two touchdowns.

New England Patriots RB:

Dion Lewis

When the Patriots allowed Shane Vereen to leave in free agency many wondered who would be the back who could contribute both on the ground and in the passing game. The fourth year pro has emerged as that guy. Lewis has 36 rushes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He has 23 catches out of the backfield for 238 yards with a receiving touchdown. Dion Lewis is averaging 10.3 yards per catch.

New England Patriots TE:

Rob Gronkowski

Gronk has 20 receptions on the year for 375 yards with four touchdowns. He has not had a touchdown reception in his past two games.

New England Patriots WR:

Julian Edelman

The seventh year veteran leads the receiving unit with 34 catches for 399 yards and three touchdowns. He made big plays in the passing game last week as he caught four balls for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Indianapolis Colts QB:

Andrew Luck

Luck is expected back on the field on Sunday. On the season he has completed 56% of his throws for 753 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. The offensive line has come under heavy scrutiny for Luck’s miscues.

Indianapolis Colts RB:

Frank Gore

Gore was acquired in free agency from the 49ers last year. He has 76 rushes for 425 yards and three touchdowns. Last week in the win against Houston Gore had 22 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Indianapolis Colts WR:

T.Y. Hilton

Hilton has been targeted 50 times and has grabbed 27 passes for 382 yards with no touchdowns. He is averaging 14.1 yards per catch. Last week in the win at Houston Hilton caught five balls for 88 yards for over 17 yards per reception.

NFL Sunday Night Football Fantasy Picks

QB: Tom Brady (Patriots)

RB: Dion Lewis (Patriots)

WR: Julian Edelman (Patriots), T.Y. Hilton

TE: Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Football Draft News 10-10-2015

New England Patriots versus Dallas Cowboys NFL Pro Football Fantasy Preview 10-11-2015

The Dallas Cowboys will be at home to meet the New England Patriots from week five action from the NFL. Fantasy football draft GMs can check out this game on Sunday afternoon at 4:25PM Eastern Time on October 11th from Dallas to track the results of their one day real money roster picks.

The New England Patriots are coming off a bye week. The team is 3-0 after blowing out the Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17. The week prior they put up 40 points on the Buffalo Bills defense. In their week three victory against Jacksonville, the Patriots produced 471 yards of offense and converted 6 of 8 times inside the red zone. New England is the top offense in the NFL by averaging 446 yards per game. They produce 39.7 points per contest good for best in the league.

The Dallas Cowboys sit at 2-2. The team is 0-2 since Tony Romo went down with a collar bone injury. They are also without the team’s leading receiver Dez Bryant and he is still weeks away from returning to the lineup with a broken bone in his foot. Dallas traveled into New Orleans last week and were defeated 26-20 in overtime. The Cowboys drove to tie the game late but allowed an eighty yard touchdown pass by Drew Brees just seconds into overtime for the loss. The Cowboys defense has now fallen to 19th in the league in points allowed by giving up 25.2 points per game.

New England Patriots QB:

Tom Brady

In three games this year Tom Brady is completing 72% of his passes for 1112 yards with nine touchdowns and no picks. In the Jacksonville game Brady threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns.

New England Patriots RB:

Dion Lewis

Lewis a fourth year pro leads the Patriots with 30 carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis has been a contributor in the passing game with 15 catches for 179 yards. He has caught four or more passes in the first three games of the season.

LeGarrette Blount

After serving a one game suspension Blount has 20 carries for 82 yards and three touchdowns. Blount had 18 carries for 78 yards and three touchdowns in the win against the Jaguars.

New England Patriots WR:

Julian Edelman

Edelman leads the receiving corps with 30 catches for 279 yards and two touchdowns. In week two Edelman caught 11 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

New England Patriots TE:

Rob Gronkowski

The sixth year tight end has caught 16 passes this season for 308 yards and four touchdowns. He had three touchdown catches in the week one victory against the Steelers.

Dallas Cowboys QB:

Brandon Weeden

Weeden the backup has started in place of an injured Tony Romo. In his three games he played for the injured Romo, Weeden has hit on 61% of his throws for 246 yards with a touchdown. He passed for 246 yards and a touchdown in a losing cause last week at New Orleans.

Dallas Cowboys RB:

Joseph Randle

Randle leads the Cowboys in carries with 59 for 229 yards and four touchdowns. He averages just 3.9 yards per run attempt. He had a bad game against the Saints last week rushing for 26 yards on eleven carries.

Dallas Cowboys TE:

Jason Witten

The veteran tight end leads the Cowboys with 25 catches for 238 yards with two touchdowns. Those two touchdown catches came in week one against the Giants.

Dallas Cowboys WR:

Terrance Williams

He leads the wide receiving unit with 12 catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns. After having no catches in week three in a loss to Atlanta, Williams grabbed three balls for 49 yards and a touchdown as he was targeted ten times.

Posted in NFL

Fantasy Football News 9-17-2015

New England Patriots versus Buffalo Bills NFL Daily Fantasy Picks

It will be a battle in the AFC East division on Sunday September 20th as the Buffalo Bills meet the New England Patriots. NFL fantasy draft GM’s can tune to CBS at 1PM Eastern Time to track the results of their roster picks.

The England Patriots enter play at 1-0 with a 28-21 victory in week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers On the stat sheet the Steelers outgained the Patriots by 103 yards but it was late garbage yards by Pittsburgh who was chasing New England in the final quarter.

Buffalo pulled off a mild surprise in week one with a convincing 27-14 victory against the Indianapolis Colts. The Bills put on a very good first half performance defensively against the Colts as Buffalo went into the locker room at halftime up 17-0. The Bills picked off Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck twice and won the turnover battle by a +3 margin by playing turnover free football.

The clubs split their two meetings in 2014. The Patriots crushed the Bills 37-22 in the meeting in Buffalo. The Pats threw for 346 yards in the victory. In a week 17 meaningless game for New England last year Buffalo went on the road and beat the Patriots 17-9.

New England Patriots QB: Tom Brady

Some NFL draft managers may have thought the off field issues facing Tom Brady could impact performance on the field. It wasn’t the case at all as Brady put up some monster fantasy numbers hitting 25 of 32 throws for 288 yards with four touchdowns. Brady has had some good games against Buffalo but has had mixed results passing against a Rex Ryan defense.

New England Patriots RB: Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount

Dion Lewis got the bulk of the work at running back for New England in week one. He rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries with his longest run being 13 yards. In the passing game he was third in the team with four grabs for 51 yards.

LeGarrette Blount returns to the Patriots lineup after a one game suspension.

New England Patriots WR: Julian Edelman

As expected Patriots wide out Julian Edelman was highly targeted in week one after the injuries in the receiver position for the team. Against Pittsburgh, Edelman caught 11 passes for 97 yards.

New England Patriots TE: Rob Gronkowski

It was a big fantasy performance for the Patriots talented tight end. Gronkowski caught five balls for 94 yards with three receiving touchdowns.

Buffalo Bills QB: Tyrod Taylor

The fifth year starting quarterback out of Virginia Tech got his first start for Buffalo in week one. Taylor was somewhat of a mystery for the Colts coaching staff to prepare for. Now there is tape on Taylor so it will be interesting to see what Bill Belichick will find in his film study. In the win last week against Indianapolis, Taylor hit on 14 of 19 passes for 195 yards with a touchdown. Taylor has mobility and a threat to run. In week one the Buffalo quarterback rushed four times for 41 yards with his longest run going for 41 yards.

Buffalo Bills RB: LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams

A lot was expected from LeSean McCoy as he was very displeased by the Eagles head coach Chip Kelly to trade him to Buffalo. With something to prove in week one McCoy was labeled as a fantasy bust in the opener. McCoy had 17 carries for 41 yards for 2.4 yards per rush.

Karlos Williams had six rushes for 55 yards with a touchdown. He had a 26 yard run in the win.

Buffalo Bills WR: Percy Harvin, Robert Woods

Percy Harvin had five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. He had a 51 yard reception in the victory.

Robert Woods was targeted just twice against the Colts and had two grabs for 27 yards.

Posted in NFL

NFL Preview – New England Patriots

Daily Fantasy Sports managers, it`s time to play some football. In the next few weeks, we are going to do a preview of every football team in preparation for the NFL 2015 season. Get ready for some Online Fantasy Football, starting tomorrow.

The super bowl champions, New England Patriots, have been the most successful NFL franchise since Bill Belichick took the job of head coach, in 2000. This team didn’t come without a little controversy over Belichick reign. The latest one, the “deflategate” saga was the biggest football news all summer long. Basically, the Patriots were blamed for deflating the footballs in last year’s AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts. The National Football League reported that super bowl MVP, QB Tom Brady, was aware of the intentional deflation. This led to him being suspended for 4 games by the NFL. Last week, the suspension got overturned by Judge Richard M. Berman of the U.S. District court, leaving Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL the big losers in all of this. There will now be an exciting matchup between Tom Brady’s Patriots and Ben Rothlesberger’s Steelers in September’s 10th 2015 kickoff.

Cash Draft Offensive analysis

QB Tom Brady holds the all-time best winning percentage (.773) in the NFL. He had accomplished 373 completions for 4109 yards 33 touchdowns, while throwing 9 interception, in 2014. He also got sacked 21 times, his lowest total since 2009. The offensive line has a lot to do with this. With no more suspension in the horizon, Brady’s fantasy value just skyrocketed through the roof. The 38 years-old comes back this year to prove that not even the National Football League can stop him to reach the Super Bowl again.

New England didn’t commit to a full time running back since Stevan Ridley, in 2012. Bill Belichick is very meticulous about his game-plan, and it includes using running backs with particular set of skills for different plays. RB LeGarette Blount is the more experienced and skilled one of the bunch. He totaled 547 yards and 5 touchdowns with the Steelers and the Patriots in the past season. Unfortunately for him, he will miss tomorrow’s game against his old team because of a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. But the undrafted Blount has his sight set towards the 1000 yard mark this year.

RB Brandon Bolden has been with the team for a while, so he knows the playbook quite well. He has collected 89 yards and 1 touchdown in 28 attempts last year. He will likely be starting the first game and run a few plays this season again, but he’s not relevant enough for Fantasy Leagues.

WR Julian Edelman was Brady’s top option in last year’s playoffs, and this chemistry could flow into this season. He finished 2014 with 92 receptions for 972 yards and 4 touchdowns. The small receiver missed a few games because of a concussion. If he stay’s healthy, he could be on his way to break his 2013 overall receiving records.

WR Brandon LaFell had his best season yet, in his first year with the Patriots. He caught 74 receptions for 953 yards and 7 touchdowns, last year. The 28 years-old will start the season on the PUP list, with a scheduled return on week 6 against the New York Jets. He will be a good Fantasy Pick when he comes back.

Antithetical to LaFell’s 2014 season, WR Danny Amendola had his worst season yet. He finished with 27 receptions for 200 yards and a lone touchdown, last season. Amendola did average 24.1 yards in kick returns though. He will once again be the kick returner for the Patriots, but will also have the opportunity to take some snaps at receiver until LaFell’s return to action. Managing both positions might be the way for him to bring some Fantasy Points on the board.

TE Rob Gronkowski played first full season since his all-star 2011 season, and boy did he deliver once again. A healthy Gronkowski is by no means the best tight end currently playing in the NFL. The 26 years-old had 82 receptions for 1124 yards and 12 touchdowns. Most Fantasy Managers are going to choose Gronk at the tight end spot for DFS leagues, week in and week out.  Are you?

Cash Draft Defensive analysis

The Patriots defense allowed 1669 yards and 6 touchdown against the run, last year. It ranked them 9th in that category. Longtime veteran of the team and their defensive leader, DT Vince Wilfork, left this offseason to go play in Houston. The 2015 first-round draft pick, DT Malcom Brown, will be is replacement.  DE Rob Ninkovich led the team with 8 sacks last season, while DE Chandler Jones saw his sack production drop from 11.5 in 2013 to 6 in 2014.

LB’s Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower were the Patriots best defenders in 2014. With them and the return MLB Jerod Mayo from injury, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Beside Wilfork, New England also lost CB Darrelle Revis, who signed with the New York Jets. It is unknown if CB’s Tarell Brown and Malcom Butler will be able to replace the void left by Revis. FS Devin McCourty will be the leading of the backfield this year.

Fantasy Football Outlook

The last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls (2004-2005) have lost a few key players on defense and had to deal with controversy all summer long. It looks like too much of a climb to do it again. But they can still be called the favorites to win the AFC East, this year.

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Football News 9-8-2015

Rams 1st Round Pick To Miss Regular Season Action

Todd Gurley:

10th overall pick in the draft was coming off knee surgery in his final year in college. Media reports have Gurley out for at least six weeks. He averaged nearly 6 ½ yards a carry in college so the Rams are being very careful in his first year since the surgery.

Tre Mason:

The Rams featured back has been listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. He rushed for 765 yards and 4.3 yards a carry for the Rams last year.

Benjamin Cunningham:

With injuries to the Rams backfield Cunningham will have opportunities in week one. In 2014 the running back ran for 246 yards on 66 carries with three touchdowns. His longest run last year was just 20 yards and he averaged 3.7 yards per rush attempt.

Isaiah Pead:

Pead is in his fourth year and has just 17 rushing attempts for 75 yards and 4.4 yards per carry average. He has an opportunity like Cunningham on Sunday to see time in the Rams backfield with the injuries at the position.

Patriots Lose Wide Out to Injury for 6 Weeks

Brandon LaFell:

LaFell suffered a foot injury and has been put on the PUP list. He must now miss the first six games of the season. LaFell had been listed on the first string on the depth chart.

Reggie Wayne:

The 36 year old has been cut by New England.

Julian Edelman:

With the injury to LaFell and Wayne cut it appears that Edelman will receive heavy number of targets in week one against the Steelers. Tom Brady has lost his outlet out of the backfield in Shane Vereen. So the possession guy will be Edelman in week one for fantasy draft managers to look at.

Danny Amendola:

The 7th year wide out had 27 receptions in 2014 for 200 yards with a touchdown. In week one Amedola will get more opportunities on Thursday night with LaFell injured.

Aaron Dobson:

Dobson a third year pro better take advantage of this opportunity. He was most likely the last receiver who made the team and would have been cut if not for LaFell’s injury. Dobson in two seasons has 40 receptions for 557 yards and four touchdowns.

Charger Cut Veteran Kick and Commit to Rookie in Week 1

Nick Novak:

The eight year kicker has been cut by the Chargers. He has been struggling with kick offs not getting deep into the end zone. He made 84.6% of his field goals in 2014 and 90% or greater the previous two years before.

Josh Lambo:

Lambo is an undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M. Head coach Mike McCoy commented to the media about his rookie’s kicker composer and confidence in the preseason.

Patriots Logjam at Running Back Forces Tough Cut

Jonas Gray:

A surprise cut by the New England Patriots. The former Notre Dame product as a rookie in 2014 ran for 412 yards on 89 carries for 4.6 yards per carry average. He had five touchdowns and did not fumble. Gray did not contribute much in the passing game with one catch for seven yards. Jonas Gray is visiting with the Tennessee Titans.

Brandon Bolden:

Bolden will be the likely starter in week one after LeGarrette Blount Week 1 suspension. The four year running back has 139 carries in his career in the NFL with 4.6 yards per carry average.

Redskins Keep RGIII on Roster for Now

Robert Griffin III:

The fourth year quarterback has been demoted into the backup position. Griffin III suffered a concussion in the preseason and has been listed as questionable to be suited up as the backup. He completed 68.7% of his throws last year for 1694 yards with four touchdowns and six picks.

Posted in NFL